California won’t require companies to make salary data public despite pay equity concerns

California companies will not be required to make payroll data public after a bill was weakened during a key finance committee in the state Legislature on Thursday.

The law proposed by Senator Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) would require the state to post salary data online for private employers with more than 250 workers, with a focus on gender, race and ethnicity ethnicity.

But those requirements were dropped from the bill, without question, in the Rapid Congressional Appropriations Committee.

Limón called the last-minute amendments to the bill “disappointing, to say the least” and “an obstacle for women and people of color” but said she would continue to pursue remedial measures. equity in the future.

“Equal pay has been an issue for decades in this country, and certainly in the state of California. So while women and people of color will not be able to see that information publicly because of what happened with the bill today, I will do this for the long term,” Limón said when told. asked about the law at a reproductive rights event in San Francisco led by Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday.

However, some elements of SB 1162 still exist and will address payment transparency if signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom this month.

The bill would require employers to disclose pay scales, including during the hiring process, a move the proposal says would prevent people who were previously underpaid from accepting lower wages than their peers. their profession.

The bill would also strengthen state enforcement of existing payment data requirements. In 2020, Newsom signed a bill requiring the state’s largest employers to collect wage data and report the information to California’s Department of Housing and Fair Employment.

That information – which aggregates statewide data and ignores employer and employee identities – suggests that women, Latino and Black workers are over-represented in wage brackets. lowest in the state, according to the first report released by the state this year.

This policy is intended to ensure that employers comply with anti-discrimination laws. Nationally, women make 83 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2020, according to US census data.

The state has taken legal action against several companies, including JPMorgan Chase, after they failed to submit the requested data.

Limón’s bill would strengthen state law enforcement by penalizing companies that do not comply.

Several business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce, opposed the bill, saying that publicly sharing payroll data would lead to heavy litigation and that potential legal costs would then limit its ability to employer’s salary increase.

Opponents said in a letter to lawmakers this month: “Disclosure of data to employers is a cynical and wise maneuver.”

Denise Davis, a spokeswoman for the chamber, on Thursday said SB 1162 would be removed from the “job killer” list because of the new amendments but the organization remained opposed to the bill.

Times staff writer Hannah Wiley contributed to this report. California won’t require companies to make salary data public despite pay equity concerns

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